Wednesday, July 15, 2009

perfection or perception

PERFECT...

Our two and a half year old daughter Lizzy is coming out with such a huge and rapidly growing vocabulary and using so many of her new words in full sentences. "Now where did Mommy put her purse Lizzy?" while not really expecting her to tell me and merely mumbling to myself out loud, came the tiny reply "I'm really not sure Mama!". This week she seems to be favouring the words "pretty" and "perfect"...but they always come out "pity" and "perkit". I resist the temptation to correct her on each attempt, as I want her to know that it's not the perfect pronunciation of the word that exhilarates me as much as it is to hear her speak and vocalize her thoughts and feelings, to see her face as she hears herself and realizes the interaction with others that language offers her, and to see the immense pride she takes in all of her attempts.

AND NOT SO PERFECT...

I don't mind saying that altho aging means different things to different people, for me, well...I'm just not all that ready. It's especially harder for women to accept anyway I think.  We live in a society where we're expected to look perfect, be the perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect friend, perfect sister, perfect daughter, perfect everything to everyone and in all things. We all have our flaws...those only skin deep and those to the very core and altho one would think time and experience would bring a whole lot of wisdom and absolute perfection, I just can't seem to get 'perfect' at any of it. We all have our own ideals as to how things should be...our own personal definition and perception of what looking perfect, being 'perfect' in the role of wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter should be. I don't want to be a 'perfect' anything and very lucky for me, as I don't think I ever will be! When I look at others, I can think they should be kinder, they should be smarter, they should be prettier, they should be more loyal, they should be more punctual, but if I do that, then it would also mean that I have to look at myself and expect the same. Hmmm...

IT'S ALL IN OUR PERCEPTION...

And so I make a pact with myself to be realistic and human and vow that for every good thing I see in someone else, I will look for one in myself. And for every imperfection I'm perhaps a little too quick to point out in someone else, I acknowledge, forgive and accept one in myself. I figure this way, I can't be too hard on others in my expectations of them, can greater handle life's little disappointments, and learn to love and accept people for who they are, myself included, and forgive the little flaws and imperfections.

This morning, I'm on my way to my daughter's daycare with her strapped securely into her carseat with her blue Elton John-like sunglasses on, a Wal-Mart smiley sticker in one hand, and her beloved Mr. Froggie in the other. We begin to back out of our driveway, but before reaching the end, I stop to check my look in the rear view mirror...smooth a line here, a line there, analyze my lipstick after having grabbed kernels of Lizzy's Corn Pops as we dashed our way out the door. Pretending to be horrified, I said out loud, "look at that Lizzy...my lips are far from perfect" with the conscious effort to remind her of the correct pronunciation of her latest word-of-the-week, to which the little voice from the backseat responded "No Mama...not perkit...pity!". With a heart still smiling as we drove away, I couldn't help but think that perhaps not to anyone else, my perception of my life and this little marvel smiling back at me in the mirror from where she sat perched up high in her slightly tilted Elton John glasses, was as close to perfect as "perkit" gets...I can only hope it's her perception of me.  

Lizzy

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